Benefits of Jiu Jitsu
Although Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) is generally perceived as a high-contact sport, it is not as dangerous as many of its other martial art counterparts. The benefits of BJJ can be seen both on and off the mat and far outweigh the dangers of participating in the sport.
Before any jiu-jitsu player even starts to engage in employing ground techniques, there is a rigorous warm-up involved that usually last between 10 to 20 minutes. The warm-up alone is enough to get your blood pumping and the sweat dripping.
Physical Benefits of Jiu-Jitsu
- improves flexibility
- boosts energy levels and stamina
- lowers cholesterol
- lowers blood-sugar
Jiu-Jitsu works both your aerobic and aerobic systems promoting cardio endurance and overall improved heart health. Other physical benefits of Brazilian jiu-jitsu include weight-loss, muscle strengthening and flexibility. When practicing jiu-jitsu on a consistent basis, your body naturally changes and you get in shape and your stamina skyrockets. Due to the inherent weight loss that comes along with physical activity, there are a plethora of other physical improvements that take place that others might not be able to see. These benefits include lower cholesterol and blood-sugar levels. Just like any physical activity, jiu-jitsu is a great outlet for stress and a way to boost energy levels as well and overall mood and disposition, giving practitioners an added boost of calmness and confidence.
Mental Benefits of Jiu-Jitsu
- refines focus
- improves mental strength, memory and brain function
- teaches patience
- hones problem-solving skills
- reduces stress
- promotes self-confidence
Despite the overwhelming physicality of jiu-jitsu as a sport, the mental stimulation and benefits are what really make the martial art stand out. Due to its teachings in patience and the importance of timing, BJJ helps to refine focus and improve mental strength. The sport is as much a mental game as it is physical, and therefore teaches students to engage in a high-level of thinking that controls both the mind and body. Due to the release of endorphins and the acute level of focus necessary to defeat opponents, jiu-jitsu teaches you to relax and be patient. During this “down time” when a jiu-jitsu player is waiting to act on his/her next movements, a series of calculated predictions scroll though the mind, helping to boost problem-solving skills.
Aside from the practical application of improved problem-solving skills, the act of learning the various steps and movements involved stimulates the brain in a positive way, keeping you brain agile and invigorated and boosting memory function.
Self-defense is at the core of BJJ and is the most widely-used of the martial arts in modern-day combat. The military, as well as police force and fire fighters often received jiu-jitsu training as a means to improve the skills when in close combat. The same techniques are applied to everyday practitioners, who enjoy an added boost of confidence and self-esteem knowing that they can defend themselves and others if put in a compromising situation. Due to this added skill set and the repeated practice of techniques in varied situations, BJJ also teaches you to embrace and confront challenge, a skill that easily transfers into our every day lives.
- improves social life/ promotes friendship
- allows you to learn how to teach
- develops communication, listening and leadership skills
- teaches humility
- promotes healthy competition
Aside from the physical and mental benefits of jiu-jitsu, there are several other perks to participating in the sport. It is a great social outlet for all involved, encouraging you to interact with people that might have a very different occupation or background than yourself. Because jiu-jitsu is typically practiced several times a week, you’ll end up making lasting friendships quickly, especially due to the physical proximity of the sport.
BJJ lends itself to a never-ending cycle of learning since there are such a wide variety of factors involved. The sport continues to evolve with time and those involved are continuously taking proven techniques and enhancing them as the learning process progresses. You may find yourself being both a student and a teacher at the same time, as you too, will desire to pass on and explain things to your training partners. This will give you plenty of opportunities to develop your ability to communicate effectively and develop empathetic understanding, not to mention leadership skills.
No matter how advanced you get or how many belt promotions you receive, there will always be someone faster, younger, smarter or better than you. You may have all the tricks in the book, but sometimes, it’s just not your best day. Maybe your focus is off or you’re suffering from a physical aliment. In these times, jiu-jitsu can be the best teacher of all, teaching you humility and to embrace your challenges, allowing you to deal with failure and learn valuable life lessons.
Whether you decide to take your jiu-jitsu skills to competition or not, BJJ gives you that competitive spirit in a healthy dose. Whether you are taking on someone twice your size or someone half your age, the challenges you will face encourage you to do your best to succeed with each movement and decision you make. You may even be competing against yourself, pushing to achieve a personal goal you’ve set. Nevertheless, this healthy competition stimulates an invigorating fighting spirit in all who practice.
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